Reno Fire uses life-saving measures for pets

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) In emergency situations, local rescue crews don't just save people; they save animals too. Often times, it's tempting for owners to want to jump in and save their pets, but the Reno Fire Department says it's best to let first responders do the rescuing.

Firefighters recently successfully rescued a black cat from flood waters.

"Of course we don't want a citizen putting themselves at risk and we come equipped for those rescues as well, and fortunately this was a successful rescue and we were able to turn the cat to animal services and hopefully we'll be able to reunite it with its owner," Dave Cochran, RFD Fire Chief, says.

The same applies to fires.

"If an animal or a pet is trapped in a fire or has smoke inhalation, we're concerned that the owner may feel a need to go in and rescue the pet, so it's best that we take on that obligation as well," Cochran says.

Cochran says all the RFD rigs are equipped with the animal rescue masks.

"The masks are specifically designed to fit on the muzzle of the animal so they can receive a high flow of oxygen and hopefully be resuscitated as quickly as possible," he says.

Cochran says the masks are used a handful of times on average each year.